Wednesday, 22 October 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 54 - School Trips

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 54 - School Trips

Fishes at a recent trip to Chester Zoo
If my memory serves me correctly we had quite a number of school trips, at least one every year in primary school and one most years in secondary school.

I do not think I can remember them all (my mum could probably tell me more) but here goes:
  • Helmshore Textile Museum after we had been studying making wool (a local industry), I remember being the best in the class for spinning the wool or something and being picked out to have a go at the museum
  • Some kind of bird and wetlands place possibly Martin Mere Wetlands probably learning about birds and wildlife
  • Blackpool Zoo in nursery school, if I remember correctly
  • Chester Zoo in the 6th form to learn about animal behaviour with the biology class - we went to Chester Zoo again recently for a fun day trip
  • Alton Towers theme park as part of a treat activity day at secondary school
  • Trafford Centre - a shopping centre/cinema/bowling alley etc, again a treat activity day at secondary school
  • Blackpool Pleasure Beach - one year at secondary school they moved the activity day to the day when we had some of our music exams, so instead we got another day out of school going to Blackpool - this was great fun!!
  • Germany with Secondary school to practice our German and learn about the German culture
  • Outdoor pursuit centre in our last year of primary school for a week
  • Betws-y-Coed for a week in the 6th form on a biology field trip, the biggest memory from this trip was counting areas of sphagnum moss? I'm sure it served some purpose, but cannot quite remember what
  • In Primary School I have a vague memory of the whole class walking to the teachers house to have a look at something as part of a trip but for the life of me I cannot remember what that was!
  • Probably other museums locally at various points...

Penguin on a recent trip to Chester Zoo

I remember regularly coming home from school trips with some kind of souvenir, whether it was a pencil, pen, ruler, rubber, keyring, usually something cheap and cheerful.

One year I cannot remember where we were going but it was in primary school and the class walked down to the road to wait for the coach to take us on our trip. We waited and waited for ages but it did not turn up so someone was sent back up to school phone the coach company. They had got the dates all muddled so we had to wait ages for the coach but eventually they sent one, but we were quite late arriving at our destination, but still had a fun day.

Monday, 20 October 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 53 - My Home Town

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 53 - My Home Town

My home town is Bacup in East Lancashire, it is where I grew up. I lived here from being a few days old to 18 years old, which was when I left home. I still return to Bacup to see my mum and may be a few other people.

A Moorland photo above Bacup

Bacup is the head town of the Rossendale Valley, once a thriving town with the cotton and woollen industries of the Victorian era. Since the start of the 20th Century there has been mass decline in industry and there was a move to the slipper and shoe manufacturing. The Rossendale Valley was nicknamed The Golden Valley at it's peak at the end of the 19th Century. 

It is in the heart of the Pennines, with Burnley to the north and Rochdale to the south, or Yorkshire to the east and Blackburn to the west, it sits in a rural spot, being at the head of the valley you have to climb hills and over moors to get out to surrounding towns of Burnley, Todmorden, Whitworth or down the valley to Rawtenstall. The river Irwell's source is in a small village to the north of Bacup and the river runs through the Rossendale Valley out towards Manchester before it joins the River Mersey.

Map from Google Maps, accessed 15th Oct 2014
It is and will always be a special place, as this was where I grew up and got my first job after qualifying as an Optician, but I do feel that Bradford is becoming more and more my home town as I have now lived here nearly half as long as I did in Bacup.

Friday, 17 October 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 52 - Inherited Items

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

I have a number of inherited items, partly due to the fact that family members know I am interested in the family tree so pass on items for me to take care of and ensure they will be passed on. 

A jug with my great, great grandmothers name on it:
I found this jug at my mum's house when I was helping her to move. She said I could have it. It is quite a precious inherited item as I own very little and know very little of this side of my family. The jug says "Mrs Wilcock 1899 Leeds" presumably it was made for my great, great grandmother - Sarah Ann Wilcock nee Holmes as a wedding present as she was wed to Charles Wilcock in 1899. 

My Inherited Jug

My great grandmother's engagement ring:
In my grandmother's will she left her jewellery to her grandchildren. An item I was privileged to receive was my great grandmothers, Alice Thompson's engagement ring, which without adjustment fits me well, although I don't often wear it. It is a gorgeous ring. In the jewellery selection I received there was also a beautiful amethyst broach which is in a little old case. It was probably passed down from someone else as well, but unsure whom.

Birth, marriage, death certificates and other documents:
I have quite a good collection of my ancestors documents now, from apprenticeship records, burial records, school certificates to original birth, marriage and death certificates. Everyone passes them onto me as they know I'll be interested due to the family tree research I do. 

A school attendance certificate for my great grandfather, Walter Davidson

My great, great grandfather's notebooks:
After the death of my great grandfather, my dad acquired a box of records and documents which had belonged to my great grandfather and his father. In this collection was my great, great grandfather's notebooks and address books, my dad later passed all these intriguing items to me to aid my research.

Excerpt from Edward Davidson's notebooks
Excerpt from Edward Davidson's notebooks

A collection of photos:
Again from the box of miscellaneous items my father acquired was a large collection of old photos. We are unsure who some of the people on the photos are but I will not throw them out, who knows one day someone may know who's face it is in those photos.

My great, great grandparents, Edward and Martha, great grandfather, Walter and his brother, known as Uncle Ted

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 51 - My First Home

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 51 - My First Home

My first home is currently being sold by my parents. It was a 1930s 3-bedroomed semi detached house with a bay window on a hill with a large garden. From the front of the house, it overlooked the valley bottom and the hills the other side of the valley which were scarred by old quarries. The back looked out onto the back drive and the woodland. The house was built in the grounds of an old mansion house so the access was through large gateposts, past a lodge house and up a drive to the back of the house. The driveway led to the mansion house, an old farm and cottages further up the hill.

My first house (after the extension)
We accessed the house from the back where there was a garage base to park the car and a double garage, where my dad kept his cars. There was a steep back path down the side of the garage to the back door, with a small lawn and large vegetable plot to the other side of the path. There was a tarmacked area to the side of the house where we could play as children. To the front of the house there were steps down through a rockery to a hedge. At the hedge ran a path along the front of the 8 houses on the street. Beyond the path there were more vegetable patches to a wall which dropped 7ft down onto the busy main road.

Walking inside the house from the back door, there was a small, narrow kitchen which lead to the hallway. Off the hallway there was a dining room and living room, both a reasonable size and the stairs. The stairs lead to the bathroom, 2 double bedrooms and a box-room. Later the house was extended over the tarmac to the side of the house creating a larger kitchen, study, extending the box-room and adding another bedroom.

We were lucky growing up in this house as it was spacious and there was lots of outdoor space for us to explore and play in.

My cosy living room, in my first bought house
My next first home would be the house I first bought, which was a 2 bedroomed mid-terrace house. It was built in a cul-de-sac, so was a nice quiet road. It was such a cosy house. There was a very small garden to the front, walled off from the road. You walked in through the front door to the lounge which was decorated red and cream it had a lovely warm feeling. From the lounge you wandered through into the kitchen, from the kitchen window you overlooked the back street and the small garden which was accessed through the basement. The staircases were off the kitchen, one down to the basement and the other up which lead to the bathroom. The bathroom was massive, there was a big corner bath and shower, toilet and basin. The other room on the first floor was the master bedroom. A big double bedroom which was more than spacious. From the small hall there was another staircase to the attic bedroom. The stairs came up in the middle of this room, again which was another big bedroom with a dormer window looking out towards the front of the house.

I loved this little house with it's spacious rooms but unfortunately we soon outgrew this house and required the extra space, so later moved into a more spacious house, semi-detached house.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Looking at the full picture

I don't know about you but when I first began researching my family history, it was all data collection. I mainly collected all the dates of birth, marriage and death of my ancestors, alongside recording where they were and what they were doing every 10 years on the censuses.

As time went on I started to want to unlock some of the facts in this data collecting exercise that I'd done previously. What did it mean that my ancestor was born in January 1899 or was baptised on 25th December 1888? 

You had to look at the facts around the bigger picture...

  • What was happening in your ancestors town, village, street at the time of these significant life events? Eg mass unemployment, opening of a new railway, clearing of slums, new housing?
  • What had happened 8-10 months before a birth? Eg, a marriage only months before a birth or a father home on leave from the army?
  • What was happening in the World or the Nation? Eg war, peace, temperance movement, strikes, protests, death of a king?
  • Was there other events happening within the immediate or extended family? Eg, cousins of similar ages, a daughter old enough to have a baby which the mother was hiding as her own, children helping with house work or child care, the father out of work?
  • Where were extended family members located geographically in relation to your relative? Did that have an impact on the relationship the extended family had with one another? Eg in the same or next street, in the neighbouring town or on the otherside of the country?
Harold Poole with his wife Alice Thompson

An example which I discovered in my own family tree once I started to unpack the facts was... great grandmother, Grace Ellen Poole nee Binns died on 31st July 1917 at 2 Rose Avenue, Horsforth, West Yorkshire
...1917 was in the middle of WW1
...did she have family members - sons, husband, nephews, brothers - who had signed up & were away fighting in France?
...her eldest son, Harold Poole, was overseas in France until 1918
...Frederick Poole - Grace's husband remarried on 27th April 1918 only months after his wife had passed away
...Harold, Grace's son married on 26th September 1918 - possibly home on leave?
...remember WW1 ended on 11th November 1918 and even then it may have been 1919 before troops returned home to their loved ones grandmother always told stories that her father, Harold Poole would never talk to his father Frederick Poole, one wonders whether it was due to the fact that his father remarried so quickly after his mother's death before Harold had the opportunity to grieve for his own mother, Grace.

It wasn't until I had unpacked the facts and looked at the full picture did I realise how quick succession it was between my great, great grandmother's death and her husband's remarriage, alongside the complications of WW1 and her son, his marriage and being away in France.

HELP required...?

Ok, so I need some help with this is a World War One service record for my great grandfather's half brother, James Alfred Poole. 

I want to know what this street name is? It is in Bradford, West Yorkshire if that is any help.

Image from accessed 13th October 2014

Please leave your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks in advance...

Thursday, 9 October 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 50 - Godparents

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 50 - Godparents

I was brought up in a Baptist tradition, so I was dedicated into the church as a baby but not Christened, this is because Baptists believe in adult baptism rather than infant baptism. I do not feel as if I missed out the opportunity of having Godparents, but then I do not know what it is like to have Godparents.

My husband's family are from more of a Anglican tradition and he has Godparents, as do his siblings. 

Myself and my husband are very lucky to have 4 Godchildren between us, they are:
  • Ben - my husband's cousins son who is in his teens now
  • Odette - one of our beautiful niece's
  • Sophia - a good friend of mine's daughter
  • Jason - our good friend's son
They are all beautiful children and we are really blessed to be their Godparents.